Photo: Fillmore General Services | Courtesy of Google Maps
VENTURA COUNTY – As if the entire COVID pandemic hasn’t wreaked enough havoc on the national economy, the academic achievement of schoolchildren, and the mental health of society at large, there remain those among us suffering from such an impenetrable degree of criminal sociopathology that they take advantage of a global calamity in pursuit of their personal profit.
According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Jason Cantrall, that appears to be the case involving the October 20th arrests of 49-year-old Claudia Portugal Cornejo and 52-year-old Sergio Cornejo, both residents of Fillmore, Ca. Allegations leading to their arrests indicate that the Cornejos “own and operate” Fillmore General Services, a local employment agency. Evidence gathered by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Major Crimes and Financial Crimes Units suggests that the Cornejos “informed clients and their families they qualified for Covid Grant Relief funding” through various local and state programs.
Allegedly “charging a fee for their services to apply for grant funding,” the Cornejos “doctored tax documents” and then submitted false business certificates and other documents to generate grant funding for those “who were otherwise not qualified” for such a monetary benefit. The extent of their fraudulent activities helped the Cornejos acquire more than $95,000 in undeserved funding.
With the evidence of their crimes in hand, Claudia and Sergio Cornejo were contacted at their place of business on October 20th and taken into custody. Both were then transported to Ventura County Jail, where they were booked on multiple charges of grand theft, conspiracy, and false presentation of documents, with their vail set at $50,000 each.
by Robert L. McCullough